Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Update Number 1: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack of Black Privilege in the Age of Barack Obama
Pat Buchanan is speaking truth to power again!
I will create a more complete list in the near future. For now, here are some choice comments and suggestions from our readers. Keep them coming folks, this is our chance to expose the unfair privileges that Black Americans have been enjoying during (and before) the age of Obama. Bathe in the waters of justice as we make clear for all our many accumulated unfair advantages--
From Exodus Mentality:
Black communities are afforded far more than their fair share of police protection. White communities can go days without seeing a police officer, but there is never any shortage of protection and service in Black neighborhoods. Our streets are constantly swept for crime and would be criminals. Surely we don't deserve such heightened attention, but we are privileged to receive it nonetheless.
In a somewhat similar vein, people of color are given far more chances to go to prison and take the time to think about their crimes and rehabilitate themselves, than their white counterparts. Often white people are not held responsible for their criminal activity, thus denying the the moral value of learning from their mistakes.
From Master Mahan:
As a white person, I never realized just how much society was aligned against me. Certainly I'd recognized a few disadvantages, such as the economic burden of needing to purchase sunscreen, but not all this. I don't receive near as many opportunities to learn about the justice system up close. I learn less about surviving hardships because the federal government will quickly help me before, during, and after a natural disaster.
I need to fulfill higher expectations because it's automatically assumed the best person for the job looks like me. Because of this, I'll be burdened with more responsibility and a higher tax rate. I'll need to work harder for a job to prove I wasn't a non-affirmative action pick.
Even in the media I'm at a disadvantage. I'll receive less attention if I'm falsely accused of kidnapping a white woman. No reporter will specifically seek someone of my race out for anything a white person does in the news.
The biggest black privilege of all, though, comes if you enter politics as a member of the Republican party. You'll receive funding to run against other black people. You'll placed directly behind many famous Republicans when they give speeches. You're guaranteed to be shown on TV at the Republican National Convention, and there's an excellent chance you'll be asked a give a speech. Even if you can't win a single election, you'll have job security for life. As a white man, I just wouldn't receive that sort of treatment. That's not even considering the privileges of being a woman, either. No glass ceiling means I get wet when it rains.
You forgot the privilege of becoming an expert on matters of food and taste. Explaining things like why some people prefer to eat a hamburger with Dijon mustard as opposed to watermelon.
You forgot the extreme attention that is paid to the driving safety and comfort of Black Americans. I can't remember the last time a police officer pulled me over to make sure I was driving a safe speed, or had all my taillights in working order. Not to mention they never stop to check that it's actually ME driving my car and not some other scoundrel. It's almost as if the highway patrol doesn't even SEE white suburban housewives.